Q&A with Jens Ahrengot: Update on HelloScience’s new features and infrastructure

HelloScience’s coder in residence Jens Ahrengot has been busy creating new collaborative tools for us that will be announced just after the New Year – however…as The HelloScience team can’t wait for 2021 to begin, we thought you should have a sneak peek of what’s in store.

2021 is not only about new features, it’s about building an infrastructure that will take the HelloScience platform to the next level. More social features, smarter user-centered algorithms and real time access to big pools of knowledge.

Jens Ahrengot Boddum is a Full-stack Developer. He is a software developer with over a decade of experience and has worked on a range of projects around the world, ranging from angel-funded startups to fortune 500’s. For the past 3 years he has been working on the 1.731.393 lines of code that keep helloscience.io running.

18 December , 2020

Q: It seems since your last update Jens that we’ve all gone digital! What have you been up to since the summer?

A: Hello again, everybody! 

Last time I gave you a update HelloScience platform update, I talked about the 3 tracks we were working on.

To recap, they were Track one: The Community Board, which was completed in July:

Community Board:

The way we approach designing, building and deploying new features is via an iterative process. You may have heard of a minimum viable product, but what we have done is to initially roll out a minimum lovable product — Something that does just enough to determine if you – our community – find the feature useful or not. And your feedback really matters!

Why? Because it enables us to continuously improve updates to those features until any rough edges have been smoothed out, leaving us with a result that supports you – and overall structure of the HelloScience platform. Anything built on strong foundations has lasting power and enables us to add more features in the future.

The Community Board will launch in 2021 on the HelloScience homepage. It allows you to reach out to everyone on HelloScience. You can post announcements, share knowledge and ask questions that will help you – and others – grow.

The Community Board is no different, and although its only been a few months we already have improvements scheduled for early 2021. Those improvements include faster load times and better mentions/tagging that will allow you to filter the posts/updates in whichever way is most relevant to you.

The next big update is track two.

Collaboration space:

The case pages that outline start-ups, projects and initiatives will receive a major revamp, focusing on utilizing our network graph to find the most relevant people and related cases, so it’s easier for you to connect the dots between everything that’s happening on helloscience.io

We’re also improving the tagging/mention feature in our comments throughout all of our comment sections, to make it easier to include the right people in the discussions taking place.

The Collaboration space centers around a specific case, but it opens up to other cases alike in ‘related cases’ and suggests potential collaborators in ‘suggested mentors’. The comment section is where the magic happens sharing your knowledge, asking questions or connecting with the team.

Next up, is track three.

Infrastructure update:

As you know, I like to fix up old cars in my spare time, and with this update, we are really going “under the hood” and giving the engine running HelloScience a tune up. To get a touch geeky for a moment, we’re re-architecting the underlying infrastructure to support more social and real-time capabilities in 2021.

In simple terms, it means we’re moving more towards a more social platform where keeping track of conversations and partnerships become as frictionless as possible. This is related to the messaging system I touched on in my last update but it digs deeper than that.

We want to be able to integrate and engage with relevant platforms outside of helloscience.io in a way that’s easy to navigate but powerful in terms of the content available. We’re also expanding our network graphs, to envelop much more research and data than what is currently available today. To do that, we are starting by integrating with databases from universities and other relevant institutions.

Q: How do you think all these changes will improve HelloScience?

A: I think we’ll see a platform with much, much more content without becoming overwhelming. That is of course a big challenge to manage, but we’ve been planning ahead for quite a while now and with the infrastructure updates we should be all set to succeed.

I also think we’ll see a higher level of engagement between people, organizations and startups, given the new social features, which is really important.

Q: As a coder, why are you so excited about creating infrastructure for collaboration?

A: I feel the need… the need for speed! With updated infrastructure, so will be able to move much faster when pushing out new improvements and features.

Getting online collaboration right way, is a big and difficult task, but I believe very much in our team, and maybe even more importantly – in the people using our platform.

2021 will be a fantastic year!